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Kennewick Council Debates Medical Marijuana Law

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KENNEWICK, WA – Recent changes in state law regulating legal growing of marijuana for patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions left the Kennewick City Council grappling with how to police it.

"This is a complicated issue and the city needs more time to study the implications of the law," said City Manager Marie Mosely during Tuesday's council meeting.

The new legislation that made changes to the 1998 Medical Use of Marijuana Act partially was approved by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

However, she vetoed provisions that provided for licensed producers, processors and dispensers, as well as a provision that would establish a state registry for patients, providers, dispensers and collective garden conditions.

The new law, which goes into effect July 22, means each city in the state must adopt and enforce its own criteria in those areas the governor vetoed.

Under state law, cities cannot exclude or prohibit collective gardens, but may impose reasonable restrictions through zoning regulations, said Lisa Beaton, Kennewick city attorney.

Beaton recommended Tuesday that the council call for a moratorium on the issue, which will give the city and law enforcement a chance to investigate ways to keep the growing of medical marijuana legitimate.

It also allows time to decide how to enforce zoning for growers and ways to issue business licenses.

"If the city enacts a moratorium on this, it must hold a public hearing within 60 days," Beaton said. After that, the city has up to a year to make its own provisions to the law.

Council members were concerned about growers abusing the legal growing of marijuana and any crime and violence to residents who use it for medical reasons.

"What's always confusing about this law is how to obtain it legally," said Police Chief Ken Hohenberg.

Council members are expected to decide on the moratorium at next week's regular council meeting.

The Pasco City Council on Monday also discussed a moratorium to ban medical cannabis collective gardening in all zoning districts within the city. It, too, will consider setting a public hearing on the issue at its next meeting.

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News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
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Author: Dori O'Neal
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Website: Kennewick council debates medical marijuana law
 

Drumbum420

New Member
I have been working for 15 years in the tricity area with all 3 cities to get the process of deciding zoning and regulations for our industry and have been blocked at each and every turn by dishonest "leaders". mrs beaton is being disengenous as for the last 2 years I (the three rivers collective) have been trying to get them to setup zoning and regulation for this so that when we can setup these buisnesses that the frame work would already be in place. They have manipulated and lied to us to keep this from happening and now they are speaking of a moratorium to do just this. How much dishonesty must we undure before we kick these idiots out of office? I will be attending all 3 cities meetings and will be prerssing this point as they can no longer hide behind this injustice.

Chet R Biggerstaff
Founder Three Rivers Collective
 
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